Updated March 5th, 2024 at 16:01 IST

DYK Ajay Devgn's Maidaan Is Based On Football Coach Syed Abdul Rahim? Here's All You Need To Know

In Maidaan, Ajay Devgn will be playing the titular role of Syed Abdul Rahim, who was an Indian football coach during the years 1952 to 1962.

Maidaan poster (L), Syed Abdul Rahim (R) | Image:Instagram
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Ajay Devgn starrer Maidaan was announced in 2019 and was expected to hit the theatres in 2020, but got postponed multiple times. Now, finally, the movie is releasing in theatres this Eid, and its trailer will be released on March 7, offering a glimpse of what the movie is about. However, do you know that the plot has been inspired by a true story? Here's all you need to know about Syed Abdul Rahim on whom the film is based.

The true story behind Maidaan

In the film, Ajay Devgn will be playing the titular role of Syed Abdul Rahim, who was an Indian football coach during the years 1952 to 1962. The film will chronicle the contribution of Abdul Rahim and how he became the legendary coach.

 

(A file photo of  Syed Abdul Rahim | Image: X)

Who is Syed Abdul Rahim?

Popularly known as Rahim Saab, he is regarded as the architect of modern Indian football. His tenure as a coach is considered to be the golden era of football in India. Under his stewardship, the Indian national team earned superiority in both technical qualities and tactical innovations and got the nickname "Brazil of Asia".

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(A major throwback photo of Indian football team | Image: Instagram)

 

He trained them so well that the team went on to win Gold medals in hey went on to win Gold medals in Asian Games of -(1951-Delhi and 1962-Jakarta), play semi-finals of the Summer Olympics - (1956-Melbourne), making India the first ever Asian country to achieve this place, win the titles of Colombo Cup for the years of - (1952-Colombo and 1954-Calcutta) and came runners-up in Pestabola Merdeka—(1959 Kuala Lumpur).

How did Syed Abdul Rahim begin his sports career?

Born on August 17, 1909, in Hyderabad, British India, Rahim worked as a school teacher. After taking football seriously, he represented the football team of Osmania University, from where he did his graduation. After his journey as a teacher, he took a diploma in physical education and took charge of sports activities in the last two schools he served as a teacher. Rahim was a professional footballer for a while, as he represented Qamar Club, which was then considered to be one of the best teams in the local league. He also played for the Dutch Amateur League club HSV Hoek in the Nederlands before going on to become a manager.

 

(A still from the teaser | Image: YouTube)

 

His journey to be India's legendary football coach began in 1943, Rahim was elected as the secretary of the Hyderabad Football Association and was later made the secretary of the Andhra Pradesh Football Association. It was during this time he started developing the infrastructure of the game. Under his supervision, the team won five consecutive Rovers Cups and also went to the finales of five Durand Cups, winning three of them.

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However, he came into the limelight when Rahim became the manager of the Indian national football team in 1950.

Rahim introduced new talents to the game

Apart from his coaching skills, Rahim is credited for introducing new Indian talents to the football team. The list includes Tulsidas Balaram, Peter Thangaraj, Mohammed Rahmatullah, Chuni Goswami, Jarnail Singh, Yousuf Khan, Dharmalingam Kannan, Sheikh Abdul Latif, Hussain Ahmed,  Kesto Pal, Nikhil Nandy, Mariappa Kempaiah and Amal Dutta.

What else do we know about Maidaan?

The biographical sports drama is helmed by Amit Sharma and produced by Boney Kapoor, Akash Chawla, Arunava Joy Sengupta and Zee Studios. Apart from Devgn, the movie also stars Priyamani, Rudranil Ghosh, and Gajraj Rao. It will be clashing with Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff starrer Bade Miyan Chote Miyan in theatres on Eid.

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Published March 5th, 2024 at 16:01 IST